John ROUTLEDGE 1918 – 1944      

1515005 Gunner John Routledge, 85 Anti-tank Regiment, Royal Artillery died 12 September 1944 aged 26.  He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial [1] and the West Auckland War Memorial.

Family Details

John Routledge was born 29 June 1918,[2] the son of William and Helen Routledge [3] and brother to Malcolm [4] at Moor Road, Longtown, Cumberland.[5]  In 1941, he married Doreen Gilbey from St. Helen’s Auckland.[6]  In 1939, Doreen [born 11 July 1920] lived at 2 Peases Street, St. Helen’s with Thomas and Kathleen Gilbey [presumably her parents] and Robert [born 5 April 1922] presumably her brother.  She worked as laundry maid.[7]  John and Doreen’s registered address was Leazes Terrace, St. Helen’s at the time of probate. [8] In 1950, Doreen Routledge married Frank Wilson.[9]

Service Details

The service details of Gunner John Routledge and the regimental war diary has not been researched.  It is known that he was held as a prisoner of war following the fall of Singapore in February 1942.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.  Further research could be undertaken since there are files available at the National Archives, Kew, London[10] and the Singapore National Archives but they are not available at the current time due to the coronavirus outbreak. [11]

Commemoration [12]

Gunner John Routledge is commemorated at column 29, Singapore Memorial.   The cemetery is 22 km north of the city of Singapore.  There was a cemetery located at Changi POW camp but the graves were moved to Kranji in 1946.  There are 4,458 Commonwealth Second World War burials at Kranji War Cemetery.  Within the cemetery stands the Singapore Memorial bearing the names of over 25,000 casualties of the Commonwealth land and air forces who have no known grave.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] UK Allied Prisoners of War 1939-1945 & England & Wales Birth Index 1916-2007 Vol.10b p.951 1918Q3 Longtown, Cumberland

[3] CWGC

[4] Ancestry family tree

[5] UK Allied Prisoners of War 1939-1945

[6] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.10a p.511 1941Q4 Durham Western

[7] 1939 England & Wales Register

[8] England & Wales National Probate Calendar [Index of Wills & Administrations] 1858-1995, date of probate 8 March 1946.

[9] England & Wales Marriage Index 1916-2005 Vol.1a p.1818 1950Q1 Durham Western

[10] Note: unfortunately, they are not digitized.

[11] I have ordered the relevant file should it be digitized

[12] CWGC